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Arrakeen Mosa´que album cover
3.39 | 41 ratings | 8 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Un Nouveau Monde (6:41)
2. Le XI Commandement (4:21)
3. L'enfant Des Pluies (7:58)
4. Sizygie (4:26)
5. Mosaique (8:56)
6. Celebration (2:08)
7. White Moon Dreamer (6:36)
8. Rages (9:38)

Total time 50:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Ma´ko (Marie-Claude Taliana) / lead vocals
- Cyril Archard / guitars
- Eric Bonnardel / keyboards
- Yves Darteyron / bass
- Gauthier Mejanel / drums

Releases information

CD 2C Production ‎- MSI CDV AR02 (1992, France)

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and to Quinino for the last updates
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ARRAKEEN Mosa´que ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ARRAKEEN Mosa´que reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Second effort from french band Arrakeen. Like their debut Patchwork they blend nicely some neo prog melodies to popular french music, making their sound quite unique, specially the vocals. Maiko has a nice voice, different from any other female singer I've had heard. She goes from a whisper to high notes so easily you have to listen to believe. She sings in french most of the time. Interestingly enough, the only song sung in english (White Moon Dreamer) does not work as good as the ones written in their native language.

The musicians are great. I still think the change of guitar players did change a bit the overall sound. Sylvain Gouvernaire┤s departure was a major blow, although the band still manage to hold things together and release a remarkable good album, even if not as powerful as their debut. The sound is a little heavier and a bit more experimental than Patchwork, which, to me at least, is just perfect. This one lacks a little in direction, if compared to the first. Still I think this album as a brilliant work on its own.Too bad the band broke up after this CD: I can only wonder how big they could be if they had stayed together. Still, they left two fantastic albums. If you like nice melodies, excellent songs, great musicianship and want to try something a little different, you should pick this one up.

Review by Prog-jester
4 stars Full-length ARRAKEEN album is a more mature and balanced work. It borders Prog-Metal in many aspects (I’d say “early MARILLION-inspired mid-tempo NIGHTWISH”), but Neo-Prog influence is obvious too. Vocals are very strong, the quality is top- notch (much better than LA TULIPE NOIRE, related band, has on its records), harmonies and melodies are excellent, guitarist sound like a mix between Steve Rothery and Yngwie Malmsteen, but sometimes I feel lack of emotions here. Though French is not my all-time favourite for singing (excuse me, but I had to say that), I appreciate their decision to sing in a native language. If you wonder how would sound a child of NIGHTWISH and MARILLION, get this one immediately. Recommended!
Review by progrules
4 stars I managed to get my hands on both Arrakeen releases from the early nineties and I'm very happy about that because it was a long search. And I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on this experience. Of the long list of neobands I'm checking out this year Arrakeen has proved to be a must have . Mosa´que is the successor of their debut Patchwork and despite the fact their music is pretty accessible I had to play the disc quite a few times to get into the individual songs.

Star of the band is Ma´ko, an excellent female vocalist. I did a google search lately because I could hardly understand a woman with these qualities would do just two albums with this band and then nothing anymore. But I couldn't find anything really unless of course I didn't dig deep enough. Ma´ko is the dominant factor of Arrakeen and that's a big achievement since all members of the band are very capable on their instruments.

Also the songs are very worth while, there are hardly fillers on this album. On the other hand there are no real highlights either which means a very equable performance and it has the advantage you can play the album without skipping songs. If I do have to name two stand out tracks it's the title track and the longest on the album, Rages.

I hardly can believe this band quit after this album and I really regret this too. I believe they could have had a shining future, at least where their potential is concerned. Maybe they called it a day at their highlight, we'll never know. This album is recommended to those who like cristal clear female vocals, very capable musicians playing excellent songs. I don't really know who to compare them with. It's true neo prog no doubt but it's certainly not a clone of any band. Four stars easily for Mosa´que

Review by Negoba
2 stars Mildly Interesting Heavy Pop-Prog

Arrakeen was an early 90's French neo-prog band that boasted a very strong singer and some guitar hero flourishes. I was attracted by the strong reviews to their second album Mosaique on this site, and my initial reaction was that the band's sound was good but that the songwriting was not too memorable. After returning to the album that impression remains. Female lead singer Maiko mixes some Enya into the usual female-fronted heavy metal sound (admittedly before that sound was so common). Guitarist Cyril Archard has all the usual shredder moves including sweeps, legato runs, and some tasty clean chops. His leads are quite good, but his distorted rhythm tone is terrible. (The fuzzy timbre sounds like a cheap amp and distracts me throughout the entire disc. The keys are typical of late 80's / early 90's pomp, and really date the work as well. (They aren't frankly unpleasant, however.)

The issue for me is that the compositions are glorified pop rather than prog, and while pleasant, don't really challenge my ear in any way. The song "Sizygie" has some proggy rhythms and some keyboard flourishes, but most of the songs are much more straightforward. "Celebration" is a guitar showpiece which begins with a nice jazzy clean composition that ends with a hammer-on cadenza a la Joe Satriani's "Midnight." A distorted whammy-fest then comes in over a vocal-synth pad, but it's quickly over with little sense of risk. "White Moon Dreamer" is sung competently in English for a changeup.

I must admit I'm not a big fan of neo-prog, but I've certainly heard examples that held my attention. Mosaique is a little too typical, its production a bit too dated, and despite very talented players, fail to make a strong musical statement. I compare this to Magenta, which plays music in very much the same territory, and the difference is immediately obvious. Both the singer and guitarist in Arrakeen probably have better chops, but Magenta has something musical to say.

Pleasant enough, but with so much great music out there, this is really just for neo-prog collectors.

Review by Warthur
2 stars Arrakeen's first album (short enough to be more of an EP, really) was notable mainly for the band's competent neo-prog performance and a guest appearance from Steve Rothery. This time around, there's no famous guest star - and, sadly, not much in the way of advancement over their earlier sound. On the whole, in fact, the album finds Arrakeen practicing an anonymous, faceless sort of poppy neo-prog which distinguishes itself from the work of other groups only in that the vocals are sung in French. Neo-prog fanatics will find this to be an OK listen but for most other listeners there's far better albums to be spending your time and money on.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Arrakeen had built a good relationship with Marillion and in 1991 at a sold-out concert at Theatre Dunois in Paris Mark Kelly and Steve Rothery joined the group on stage.However they struggled to find success in hard times for Prog music, especially by singing in French, preventing them having international recognition.Sylvain Gouvernaire left for England to form Iris with the help of Marillion's Pete Trewavas and Ian Mosley and the rest of the group hired Cyril Achard, a guitarist with a metal background.Gauthier Mejanel was the new drummer and Arrakeen recorded their second album ''Mosaique'' in 1992, released on MSI.

Achard's presence gave Arrakeen a harder edge in the lead guitar parts, but generally the group maintained its style of cinematic Neo Prog with delicate symphonic orchestrations and fabulous, theatrical female vocals provided by Maiko.Through a collection of both short and long tracks they offer elaborate arrangements with interesting melodies, romantic lyricism and extended instrumental workouts, based on Eric Bonnardel's flashy synthesizers.Some of Gouvernaire's monumental solos are absent, but new guitarist Cyril Archard was overall an excellent fit with some great guitar moves and a number of nice solos also in his armour, although a STEVE VAI virtuosic influence is evident in a couple of cuts.Maiko's voice remains the absolute trademark of Arrakeen, combining her majestic chords with passionate, symphonic-inclined musicianship.MARILLION, IQ and RENAISSANCE are the strongest reference points: A nice bunch of Classical inspirations and the lead female voice recall the later, the melodic guitar lines along with the bombastic synthesizers are elements of the first.However ''Mosaique'' was sort of a personal album with non-pop leanings and often a very orchestral sound, twisting from theatrical Progressive Rock to melodic Neo Prog.

After the mini-tour following the release of the album Arrakeen sadly disbanded.Cyril Achard followed a good personal career in the Prog Metal field, while Gauthier Mejanel and Maiko remained involved in the music industry, although far from their progressive roots.

Hail to one of the most underrated Prog bands of the 80's/90's.''Mosaique'' is another nice example of solid, non-commercial Neo/Symphonic Prog, definitely a must-have for fans of the style, albeit a touch weaker than Arrakeen's monumental debut.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Being of a certain age, I was fortunate enough to see many of the UK Prog Gods in their late 60s/early 70's prime - Yes, Tull, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Camel, Caravan, Barclay James Harvest, to name but a very few. (For the record, I was never interested in seeing either King Crimson or VdGG - neither ... (read more)

Report this review (#2510568) | Posted by tbstars1 | Wednesday, March 3, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excellent second album. The original guitar-heroe Sylvain Gouvernaire having left the band, Cyril Achard plays now the guitar, in a more heavy-metal way maybe. Apart from Sisygie who sounds like a joke, the whole album is great, with splendid vocals and charming melodies. Unfortunately, this w ... (read more)

Report this review (#83969) | Posted by igor | Monday, July 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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